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To TSA or Not to TSA Lock?


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#1 Deep6

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:09 PM

Should we use TSA approved locks on checked luggage? The lock may deter the casual thief or a little red flag that says there is something inside worth stealing.
Regards,
Bob
PS
If you think the locks are worthwhile, please cite a reliable brand/model and source. TIA

Edited by Deep6, 29 March 2009 - 05:27 PM.

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#2 davephdv

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 12:45 PM

I use them. Especially with hard cases.

When you are returning from a foreign country they often either don't open the cases (X-ray them), or search them in front of you. The locks then go on.
Since doing this I don't seem to be missing one or two items like I use to lose before.
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#3 urchinlad

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 01:16 PM

Should we use TSA approved locks on checked luggage? The lock may deter the casual thief or a little red flag that says there is something inside worth stealing.
Regards,
Bob


Bob, I use the TSA locks, but keep my camera and irreplaceable items in my carry on. Have no dive stickers on your luggage nor any thing to identify as a diver. Put a note in large print in your luggage asking TSA to place locks back on. My luggage has always been locked when I picked it up and I don't know if they opened it or not. I put more than one luggage tag on each bag. Inside the bag I put my name and the location I am traveling to. I have had luggage delayed but it has arrived. Returning I place my home address in luggage. After spending a week or two shooting keep your cards or DVDS in your carry on, they are priceless and should'nt leave your side. We can replace strobes ,etc but not our photos. Best of luck. Hank

#4 tdpriest

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 05:25 AM

I put a pair of cable ties on my soft bags, and have avoided taking my Peli cases for a couple of yeras. The TSA will cut the ties if they want, but at least the bags can't just be opened, and the ties are inconspicuous.

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#5 AllisonFinch

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:27 PM

I've given up on the TSA locks. Remember, it is an American system. Third world countries don't have the TSA lock pickers. They will simply cut the locks off. I have lost too many locks traveling to PNG and Indo. I use cable ties only, now. The airports rarely cut them off, in my experience. In America, TSA replaces the cable ties.

#6 okuma

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 07:00 PM

I use standard, non-TSA locks and stand by while the 4 bags go through inslection. About 1 of 5 times, I have to unlock.
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#7 hoovermd

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 11:00 AM

I use standard, non-TSA locks and stand by while the 4 bags go through inslection. About 1 of 5 times, I have to unlock.



I use standard "real" locks.
If you ask/wait for TSA and offer to unlock the bag upon request 80% of the time I never have to open them.

The other 20% of the time I am quite happy to explain what they found and politely ask them to put it back carefully and away we go!

I have started packing a single small Pelican with all my batteries and this seems to help the other bags sail thru... Helps keep the larger bags under the weight max also.
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#8 jakelevenson

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:05 PM

I just learned that the hard way coming back from Dominica. I had TSA locks on all my gear and the person at the counter said I had to remove them. Naively I asked why, her response? "There's no TSA here." I felt like an idiot but luckily everything got home in one piece. Needless to say I'll stick to cable ties from now on.



I've given up on the TSA locks. Remember, it is an American system. Third world countries don't have the TSA lock pickers. They will simply cut the locks off. I have lost too many locks traveling to PNG and Indo. I use cable ties only, now. The airports rarely cut them off, in my experience. In America, TSA replaces the cable ties.


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#9 CompuDude

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:37 PM

No problems with TSA locks (on all zippered openings) on my flights to/from Bali (via Hong Kong) on Cathay Pacific, earlier this month.

I'm all for them. If someone cuts them off in some third world country to inspect, so be it, I'd rather be without my TSA locks than the contents of the luggage.

#10 samplin

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 04:55 PM

I travel with 2 Samsonite Clamshells with Combination locks on top latch.
Always lock them and tell them they are locked 1 out of 10, I am asked to open them..
Never missed a thing. One Clamshell just for dive gear 47lbs. Other one for clothes and personal stuff and SPARE (battery packs, wires and the like) photo equipment.
All the rest of the photo gear goes into the carry on Porter Case. And the laptop goes into a computer carry on
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#11 marcw

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 12:27 PM

I put a pair of cable ties on my soft bags, and have avoided taking my Peli cases for a couple of yeras. The TSA will cut the ties if they want, but at least the bags can't just be opened, and the ties are inconspicuous.

Tim

:)

I must have been using those super strong plastic ties, when I went on a trip to Curacao I used the plactic ties. Instead of cutting the soft plastic ties, they cut the metal zipper pull.

#12 jlyle

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:53 PM

Cable ties - my wife and I do a lot of travel and my suitcases have never been opened. My wife's suitcase gets opened every time we travel to Cozumel; can't figure out why but we've (knock on wood) never lost any gear.
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#13 allen

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:04 AM

I am not sure if TSA locks are a red flag or not. But after battling TSA for a couple of years I no longer lock my bags. Instead, I use a piece of #12 copper wire as a twisty as they can be reused and are pretty rugged. If they get lost it is no big deal. And hopefully TSA will put them back on.

BTW TSA will not always replace zip ties, depends on the airport. Also wire zippers can be opened with a blunt pen. and be re-closed with the pull going backwards. Tooth zippers are a bit harder to re-close.

#14 leescuba

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:00 PM

Something I learned on my last trip that may be obvious but I didn't think about it. I used TSA locks to keep the zipper pulls together on a hardshell Armor dive bag. But the pulls were plastic and one broke off. Zipper can still be used but much harder now. In the future, I'll reserve my TSA locks for metal pulls.

#15 jenfu

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:07 PM

Maybe it is just my bad luck but I fly out of Newark, New Jersey and I've had 5 TSA locks cut off of my bags. The bags arrive without the lock or the lock hung back on to my hard case...broken. Each time, I found one of those little notes inside my bag letting me know that TSA has opened my bag. Only had stuff missing once...set of ear bud headphones and my high-speed firewire card reader.
I've given up on the TSA locks and use cable ties now. Sometimes they are cut off but cheaper than $15 TSA locks being broken off. Well, except for that time the tore my zipper-pull off rather than cutting off the cable tie.

#16 Rocha

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:00 AM

All I use is cable ties. I really think the locks are a red flag (and so are hard cases for that matter), so I make my bags as little conspicuous as possible. The only time I tried TSA locks, I had the same experience Jenfu had, my locks were simply broken off (or unlocked and not put back). But I never had anything missing.

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#17 sideways

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:41 AM

I just started using the TSA locks, one trip to Mex so far, and no probs. I think I'll put them on leaving the states, and carry zip ties with me for the return trips :blink: Great info folks :lol:
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#18 okuma

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 08:08 AM

Cable ties - my wife and I do a lot of travel and my suitcases have never been opened. My wife's suitcase gets opened every time we travel to Cozumel; can't figure out why but we've (knock on wood) never lost any gear.


If they are "wiping" the case or zip pulls, one of the ingredients in cosmetics is also contained in plastic explosives. This, along with trace amounts of fertiziler is enough to do it! Never store your dive bags near fertiziler.
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#19 secretsea18

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:57 AM

If they are "wiping" the case or zip pulls, one of the ingredients in cosmetics is also contained in plastic explosives. This, along with trace amounts of fertiziler is enough to do it! Never store your dive bags near fertiziler.


I've been told it's the glycerin in some soaps and lotions, that can cause that problem. Keep your luggage out of the garage near the lawn fertilizer! :blush: